Ruminations of alchemy, animations, and death
The Alchemy implementation is complete. Bug testing has revealed some issues that will surely get resolved soon.
Zini is also working on the “Death” branch. There was a bug where everything/everyone was insta-killed. That is no longer a problem, but there are more to be fixed.
The newly finished quick travel services in the “Travel Dialogue” branch is being refactored by Gus.
Pvdk continues working on our launcher with the support for profiles now back!
Greye is working in the “Storedevel” branch on lower level structures of the engine, rather than on user visible features ─ but that doesn’t make it unimportant. In fact quite opposite: without it we would be screwed in many ways.
Chris is digging around in the animations. The number of commits increases, the number of issues decreases but the goal of fully implemented animations is still far away…
The OpenMW engine is so big and interrelated that every feature requires quite a lot of work…
Eli2 as usual continues to work on the editor. Stopgap json serializer has been replaced with the qt variant. There was also Qt5 experiment ─ not very important from practical point of view but some of you may be interested that “It works”.
Welcome! All of you!
The OpenMW editor, which some of you might not even be aware of, has been progressing stably for quite some time now. Eli2 is currently focusing on loading and saving projects. Once this groundwork is finished, other features can be edited more quickly.
Scrawl is not working on shaders at the moment (mark this historic date on your calenders). Instead he’s working with zini on the alchemy implementation. The new code needs to be integrated into the game engine, and also requires its own GUI. He made the original alchemy window, so clearly he’s fit for the current job. Scrawl is becoming a true MyGUI adept. When the GUI first appeared bugs appeared with it, but these are getting squashed now.
BTW, compile time of OpenMW on Scrawl’s computer is about 2 minutes.
Zini assigned the “Death” task to himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if WeirdSexy’s videos get a little more of thriller/horror feel or maybe something ala Overgrowth. Hopefully WeirdSexy will also be able to show some more animations as Chris is working on this feature. Although getting animations to behave correctly is not trivial, the concept has already taken shape.
lgro, the fearless spambot slayer, holy guardian of… eh never mind. Lgro is working on books. The task proved to be harder then it first appeared to be. The only current benefit from Lgros effort is realizing there are problems that need to be solved in the parser. Lgro promises to do the trick, but it will take quite some time.
Another careful operation in the works is on the performance of cell loading. For some users loading is very slow. To fix this, Zini introduced changes, and the testing brought some surprising results. Unfortunately surprising in the negative sense. Honestly, nobody knows what to do! But the team will figure this out, eventually.
If you did not visit our forum recently you could miss new theme. It’s done by jedd and necrod, looks very nice and integrates with wordpress theme. This is not everything, lgro — our admin installed a brand new anti-spam plugin that should reduce the daily cleaning for admins and moderators — it seems to work good.
We have also quite a lot of programming progress. Scrawl added skill gain for training books and also started to work on video playback feature so maybe finally you will be able to see the intro movie as well as create spells since scrawl also works on it. In addition, as usual some bug fixing, most visible for global map not updating when it’s pinned.
gus started to work on fast travel service: silt striders, boats and guild guides will be finally able to take you to the other towns. It seems that guild guides works just as silt striders and the only difference is that mages are located in interiors and will take you to the other interior so game is not able to calculate distance and in this case it just assumes that travel will cost 10 gold and be instant.
drpaneas (a new developer) started to work on his first task that is implementing a failed action. It’s quite important!
Mark76 showed up on the forums recently. Nothing has changed for the multiple esm and esp support but zini thinks about splitting it so it won’t be so overwhelming.
Zini on his own works on proper alchemy implementation. Needless to say current solution was nothing else then a prototype and was never intended to go into the 1.0 so it was just too strongly tied to the GUI and was just not planned properly. This is about to change.
greye is working on the old task of record saving. It’s very important task for both game and the editor.
As you probably noticed, the site was down. This was due to a sudden and sharp increase in page views that occurred when OpenMW made the news aggregating website slashdot.org. A veritable horde of readers clicked on the story, passed to our site, and soon all I could do as an admin was log into the server and watch with shock and awe as the heart of apache processes was torn out. Normally we get 10,000 page views a month, and because of slashdot we had 25,000 in one day.
However, we benefited as many new developers and contributors have discovered us and are now joining. So we’d like to say, Thank You Slashdot! And despite the setback of the site being down, the development team continued their work as usual.
Zini was working on the refactoring task when he found many unnecessary “includes” in the source code. Don’t worry readers about what includes are, all you need to know is that many were unnecessary and that translated to slow downs in compile times. Many users complain that it takes forever to compile and build OpenMW and while users could perhaps view compiling OpenMW as exercise in patience, they won’t have to as removing these “includes” improved build times by nearly half.
He also worked on proper skill development implementation. As of now, the only skill that can be seen in game is Alchemy (and even it’s not finished), but that will soon change.
Scrawl has been tinkering with shaders. Interestingly, he found that using GLSL shaders caused build time improvements twenty-one times. Since the number and complexity of shaders OpenMW uses can be described as “modest”, the impact on the total compile time is negligible, but it’s still intriguing.
jhooks1 is still working with animations.
Figuring out Morrowind’s formulas has finally gained momentum. Myckel is bravely working on alchemy, and he has a couple new colleagues on the forums which include Epsilon. Epsilon is developing scripts to speed up the testing phase exponentially. It’s great work and we welcome them to the team.
After an extensive phase of testing and five release candidates later, 0.16.0 is out. WeirdSexy made a video can be viewed in the previous post. It’s interesting that many users discover our project via YouTube, probably more than through Google. I shouldn’t be surprised since this is the Web 2.0 era after all.
Other people are pushing OpenMW forward in other ways. In terms of features, I need to mention Myckel. The situation makes me a little ashamed because Myckel is not a programmer, but he is reverse engineering the formulas related to alchemy. It’s an important project, so important that zini says its the only thing holding back progress with this implementing alchemy. But it’s not just alchemy, there are many formulas that are still not worked out. There is nothing stopping ME from doing this task besides laziness. The situation is even worse — because most of the formulas on our wiki were put there by a single person. Something is not right.
Zini can’t progress with the alchemy task yet, so he started another round of refactoring. This time it’s the MW-subsystem. All information important for developers can be found in this topic: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=863
There is bad news because animating with OGRE3D is stuck in place again. Hopefully not for long this time.
pvdk is on-line and so the launcher is seeing modifications again. Configuration options are available as well a better graphics menu for it thanks to serpentine. Maybe less important but still nice.
scrawl is focused on few bug fixes right now. He already fixed infamous black textures bug on DirectX and now he is creating new changes in the graphics.
Eli2 who previously worked (toying?) on head tracking experiment now is working (toying?) on the editor. I would L O V E to see awesome stuff right there so go for it Eli2!